Labour Market Summary
Although not the biggest surprise of the last three months, Warwickshire’s labour market performed unexpectedly well during the last quarter. In the face of an uncertain economic climate, the county continues to disregard UK-wide growth insecurities by expanding its workforce. The local success seems to be demand-driven, with growing business confidence and business activity leading to above-average job vacancies and job growth.
Each quarter, counter-balancing labour market forces eventually transpire into changes in the employment and unemployment rates. The prevailing direction in the last eight years has been towards a higher-than-average employment rate and lower-than-average unemployment rate. Data for the first quarter of 2017 reinforces this trend, with the gap between Warwickshire and the UK widening.
Short-term improvements in the 16 to 64-year-old labour force participation, driven by an increase in female workers and job market growth, have outweighed an increase in out-of-work claimants. On the other hand, longer-term changes suggest that a growing older population is beginning to place a strain on an ever-apparent skills shortage.
The good news continues to shine through across many facets of Warwickshire’s labour market. In addition to the positive short-term fluctuations, we have seen the long-term unemployment level reach a 13-year low. Skill levels and advertised wages are also on the up, which will be key for the sustainability of Warwickshire’s economic success.
Key Labour Market Indicators
Highlights of the Q1 2017 data for Warwickshire:
- The employment rate rose 1.0%.
- The number of jobs advertised increased 24.5%.
- The unemployment rate decreased 0.5%.
- The out-of-work benefits increased by 0.1% on last quarter.
- Labour force participation fell 0.2%.
- Population growth of 0.5% over the last year.